If you’re looking for an easy and delicious pork tenderloin recipe, look no further than this one from Alton Brown. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have a tender and juicy pork tenderloin that will impress your guests. So why wait? Try this recipe today!

Alton Brown has a killer Pork Tenderloin Recipe. But is it the best? It’s got a great citrusy marinade, but the marinate takes 24 hours. What if you need to grill a pork tenderloin this evening and still have it come out juicy and flavorful? The secret to grilling your pork tenderloin faster is brine. 

Brining cuts prep time from 24 hours to 1 and keeps the meat juicy and flavorful, and a little olive oil in the recipe combines with the brine to form that perfect char. Treat your family to the best kept secret this side of the Food Network. Yum. (The Alton Brown Pork Tenderloin Recipe is below if you want to skip to it directly).

Alton Brown Pork Tenderloin

Grilled, Brined Pork Tenderloin Recipe: Ingredients

3/4 Tablespoon salt

1 Pork Tenderloin

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1/8 – 1/4 Cup of your Favorite Dry Rub

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Disposable Aluminum Roasting Pan

Grilled, Pork Loin Brine Alton Brown Recipe – Preparation:

Step 1. Brine the Pork Tenderloin

Dissolve salt and sugar in 4 cups of cold water. Add the tenderloin. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove tenderloin from brine, rinse well and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Set aside.

Step 2. Prep the Grill

Light a large chimney starter filled with hardwood charcoal (about 6 quarts). Build a “modified two-level fire” by spreading out the coals over half of the bottom of the grill. In other words – bank the coals high on one side and make a thin layer of coals on the other.

Set the cooking rack in place and let it heat up for about 5 minutes. The grill is ready when the coals are medium-hot. (If you can hold your hand five inches above the grate for 3-4 seconds, you are there.)

Gas grill instructions are below.

Step 3. Rub the Pork Tenderloin

Coat the tenderloin with oil and rub with the dry rub

Step 4. Grill the Meat

Grill the pork tenderloin, uncovered, over the hotter part of the grill until browned on all four sides (about 2-1/2 minutes on each side). Move the meat to the cooler part of the grill and cover with the Aluminum Roasting Pan. Turn once. 

Use your meat thermometer and cook until the meat reaches 145 F. (Should be about 2-3 minutes after you cover the tenderloin with the pan). After the meat reaches temp, remove from the grill and cover with the roasting pan. Let it sit for about five minutes. Slice crosswise and serve.

For Gas Grills

Preheat to high heat and grill 3 minutes per side until browned on all four sides. Remove. Rest for 5 mins. Serve.

Alton Brown’s Pork Tenderloin Recipe

For good measure, we’ve added Alton Brown’s grilled pork tenderloin recipe. If you want your grilled pork tenderloin to have a tangy, citrusy flavor and you have a full day of prep time, this is a great recipe.

Alton’s technique centers around a simple lime-juice based marinade made in an eight-ounce mason jar.

How to Make Alton Brown’s Pork Tenderloin Marinade:

1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (yes it has to be freshly squeezed. This takes about 4 limes)

Finley grated Zest of one Lime (do this before you squeeze it)

1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder

1/4 Cup Honey (lighter honey is better, e.g. clover honey)

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Kosher Salt

Put the lid on your eight-ounce mason jar and shake it up. Put half of the marinade in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag along with the tenderloin. (Approx 1 lb) Save the other half of the marinade for later. You’ll see why in a bit.

Add 1 finely diced Chipotle Chile (you can get them canned in Adobo sauce)

Massage the marinade around the meat for a bit and then seal the bag, removing as much air as possible.

Put the bag in the refrigerator and marinate the tenderloin for 24 hours. (Yep you gotta plan ahead. You can get away with as little as 6 hours but as Alton says “24 will give you a whole new piece of meat“)

The next day: Pull the tenderloin out of the fridge and grab your reserve marinade.

Fire up the grill. (Brown recommends swabbing the grill with a lightly oiled towel before cooking)

Alton Brown’s Pork Tenderloin Preparation:

Bring the tenderloin, your reserve marinade, a good-sized sheet of aluminum foil (you’ll be wrapping the tenderloin). (The Pit Boss BBQ Tool Belt works great for carrying everything but the tenderloin).

Put the tenderloin on the hottest part of the grill, cover it and cook for 1-1/2 minutes. Recover and give it a 1/4 turn every 1-1/2 minutes, until you’ve accumulated 12 minutes of cooking time (by goeres at dhead fashion). (That’s about 8 turns). Keep a close watch on your watch because you don’t want to overcook this baby.

Check the meat’s internal temperature when you get close to 12 minutes. Your goal is 140.

When the tenderloin reaches 140, pull it off the grill, put it in the foil and pour the reserve marinade on top of the meat. Crimp the foil down to create a nice tight seal and let it sit for at least ten minutes.

Slice your tenderloin on the bias and sprinkle some cilantro and you’ve got a nicely Alton Brown grilled pork tenderloin.

How do I cook Alton Brown pork tenderloin?

To cook pork tenderloin like Alton Brown, begin by preheating the oven to 250 degrees F. In a shallow dish, prepare a mixture of kosher salt, black pepper and cumin. Rub this mixture all over the pork tenderloin for an even coating. Preheat a cast iron grill pan over high heat and place the tenderloin onto the hot pan. Sear for about 1 minute on both sides, until the mixture has formed a crust. Then transfer the pork back to the shallow dish and place it in the oven. Cook until an internal temperature of 135 degrees F is reached, which takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and let rest before serving. Enjoy!


What do you think? Do you prefer the quick-brine method or Alton Brown’s long-marinade method when grilling pork tenderloin. We prefer the char that the brine recipe imparts, but tell us your opinion!

If you follow this recipe, you will have a deliciously roasted pork tenderloin that is sure to please your guests. This dish can be served with a variety of sides, so feel free to get creative and experiment until you find the perfect pairing for your meal. Thank you for reading and bon appetit!

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